Commission launches global cooperation platform to fight deforestation

Today the European Commission is taking a step forward in its work against global deforestation. The new multi-stakeholder platform launched today to help protect and restore world’s forests brings together an unprecedented range of stakeholders and expertise – EU Member States, top NGOs in the field of forest protection, industry organisations, international organisations, and non-European countries, including the largest consumer markets outside the EU and some of the countries experiencing significant destruction of their forests. The new platform aims to provide a forum to foster exchanges among stakeholders in order to build alliances, drive and share commitments to significantly reduce deforestation. Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius, said: “Forests are indispensable for the wellbeing of all citizens on Earth, and yet we are losing them at an alarming rate. The EU is determined to act to change this course, using all tools at our disposal to help protect the world’s forests. But we cannot do it alone. I hope this platform of most relevant stakeholders will be an excellent catalyser for cooperation to halt and reverse deforestation.” In addition, the platform is to serve as a policy-making tool informing the Commission’s ongoing work on a legislative proposal to minimise the risk of deforestation associated with products sold on the EU market, planned for the second quarter of 2021. This commitment has been enshrined in the European Green Deal, the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, the Farm to Fork Strategy and the Communication on stepping up EU action against deforestation and forest degradation. A public consultation was launched earlier in September and will run until 10 December 2020. Deforestation is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions causing global warming and a factor for animal and plant extinction. More information is available here.